On June 2nd, 2012, the Class of 1952 dedicated the statue of Heisman Trophy Winner Dick Kazmaier ’52, on the occasion of their 60th Reunion. The following remarks were delivered by Mr. Kazmaier at the dedication.
Thank you Rudy. Also, thank you for working with Gary Walters ’67, our Ford Family Director of Athletics, and other University administrators to place this statue here in the Jadwin courtyard. I particularly appreciate its location relative to Princeton Stadium, now sited where my favorite of all stadiums – Palmer Stadium – once stood. Palmer’s “tombstone” – actually its Memorial nameplate – remains featured in the distant concourse, but with a virtual sight line to this location – a link to remembrances from the Tigers’ storied football history.
To me the most meaningful part of this dedication is the plaque with the names of all of the Class of 1952 Varsity P recipients – two of whom are here today – Joe Masi and Roger McLean. As have many others from our class, the majority of my letter winning teammates have left us behind. But the concept of “the Team” also includes many others from the Classes of ’53 and ’54 who played on the 1951 undefeated team, but particularly my teammates from the Classes of ‘50 and ’51, who had an extraordinary record of accomplishment themselves under Head Coach Charlie Caldwell ‘25.
Football is a game where the team is paramount. Every player must perform to his best and all must work together to accomplish their common goal. The Caldwell era had great athletes and, now with the benefit of 60 years of hindsight, my teammates evolved into proven great men who had distinguished careers that exceeded their football achievements. Without a doubt their lives and contributions to society are impressively a direct reflection of the Athletic Department’s mission of “Education Through Athletics.” The well-rounded student policy of admission, in effect in the post World War II period, provided many students who could benefit from both the educational and athletic opportunities present at Princeton.
Hopefully this statue will represent the very best in education and athletic performance that have always been fundamental components of the Princeton experience. This morning at our Class of 1952 60th Reunion Memorial Service, as part of our appreciation and gratitude for all that the Tiger represents, we sang the entire version of Old Nassau. What startled me was the 3rd stanza: “And when these walls in dust are laid, with reverence and awe, another throng shall breathe our song, in praise of Old Nassau.” With many interpretations possible for any bronzed sculpture portraying a football player, hopefully it will without fail enable future Princetonians to sing “in praise of Old Nassau” with even greater conviction.